YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — When it comes to Youngstown pride, Phil Kidd embodies it.
“Pride is a huge element of the community,” Kidd said.
He runs the downtown store, Youngstown Nation, which exclusively sells Youngstown-themed apparel, mugs, and other memorabilia.
Now, he’s on a new mission: To make sure everyone knows about some of the Valley’s hidden gems. Kidd spent the past six months compiling a list of 50 must-do things in Youngstown and the surrounding areas.
“There are some obvious things that I think a lot of people come to Youngstown to do. Or if you live here, you do. But there are a lot of other cool, kind of underground things that people either don’t know about or don’t think about as often,” Kidd said.
He was inspired by a similar list on the city of Cleveland, but Kidd took it to another level. He researched the history of each item on his list and included a summary of its background and what makes it so special to the city.
Plenty of hot spots for food made the list, along with destinations representing the arts, Mill Creek MetroPark, and many of the Valley’s fairs and festivals.
Kidd said many of these points of pride for the Valley have been around for generations, and because so many natives know about them, they are not promoted to Valley newcomers.
Some of the other food items on Kidd’s list include blueberry doughnuts from White House Fruit Farms, corned beef hash from Kravitz Deli, the Hunky Platter at Rip’s, Tressel Tortillini from MVR and of course, a genuine Brier Hill Pizza.
There are plenty of other items on the list too, including visiting the Oh Wow! museum downtown, touring the Youngstown Business Incubator, catching a production by one of Youngstown’s many community theater groups, and visiting the Arms museum.
Kidd will be the first to tell people that he is not originally from Youngstown, but these are some of the things that won his heart.
“I can’t ever imagine myself not living in a community like Youngstown,” Kidd said.
He posted his list on his blog, Defend Youngstown, Sunday night. It’s already been liked and shared hundreds of times on Facebook.